We’ve featured Reece’s work within our pages before and we’re big fans of the photos he produces, so when he hit us up to tell us about his new zine and exhibition in Leeds, we had to know more. I caught up with him last week to talk about how it all came together, who’s a part of it, and how you can get hold of the zine.
Hi Reece, how are you? Where are you talking to me to from?
Hi Tom, all good cheers just currently at home at the moment.
Ace, and where is home for you?
I was born in Peterborough but I’ve been residing in Leeds for around 6 years now.
What drew you to Leeds?
Back in Peterborough the opportunities felt limited and I felt that Leeds was definitely a city which was more open to creative types and I felt that it would be a better step to help my photography progress.
Tell us more about the show, is this your first exhibition?
I’ve been part of a few other exhibitions at university and smaller events but this is my first official exhibition where I was displaying just my work.
So it’s your first solo show?
So tell us more about the show, what is it and why do it?
An independent craft beer shop called Tall Boys Beer Market opened at the start of the year. I heard good things and that they were going to have their own exhibition space above the shop to display artists work. A guy who worked there called Sean liked some of my photography and asked me if I wanted to display some photos for their second official exhibition so I was obviously down for it.
This type of beer shop is a gap in the market for Leeds and it seems as if people love. To display my work is such a rad place would be a great way for my photography to get some exposure. For the exhibition I decided to display British Skateboard photography, which I’ve shot between 2010-2015. I felt this was a good opportunity to showcase my strongest work which I’ve shot over the last 5 years and to produce a ‘Zine’ which gave an insight of the skateboarding lifestyle and a behind the scenes aspect.
Who are some of the skaters involved in the zine?
The skaters are from a wide variety of the UK. I tried to include as many OG skaters and new up and coming dudes to keep everyone happy. Some people of the people included are skaters who I’ve grown up watching and never thought I’d get the chance to meet, let alone photograph: Lee Rozee, Mark Baines, Vaughan Jones, Jerome Campbell, James ‘Foz’ Foster, Paul ‘Man’ Silvester, Tom Brown, Ben Grove, Joe Paget, Serious Sam Barrett, Daryl Dominguez, Sam ‘Blinky’ Hutchinson, Guy Jones and the list goes on.
Is Tall Boys linking to skateboarding in any way?
Tall Boys isn’t linked to skateboarding in any way at all but I feel like they were into my photography because I sometimes contributed to local publications such as ‘The City Talking’ and ‘Independent Leeds Little Black Book’. The shop is situated close to Welcome Skate Store, which did help for the exhibition launch.
What made you want to do a zine in the first place?
Over the years I’ve always wanted to do my own zine but could never get around to doing it. But once I got asked about the exhibition I felt like this was the perfect time to do it
Was getting these images for a publication always the plan or were they bits lying around that were never used as ads or editorial etc?
At first when I was shooting it would have been mainly for the chance to get something published but I always kept hold of certain images knowing that I’d want to use it for something in the future. I had no idea I’d make my own zine but it seemed like the best way to showcase some work which I kept hold of for years and wanted people to see.
I searched through 5 years worth of photos and this took about two weeks on and off. There’s always photos which you forget about and it’s nice to stumble across hidden gems. Things fell into place after I looked through all of the hard drives of photos and the zine came together eventually.
Were there any set backs in making the zine?
The only set back I experienced was the deadline I was on. I had around a week to get my Zines sent off to get printed and then delivered back to me but luckily the turn around time was amazing with a couple of days to spare.
Did you have a launch event for the exhibition?
Yes we did, it all came together really nicely. Welcome Skate Store are also situated in Thorntons Arcade and are basically across the road from Tall Boys Beer Market. Welcome provided a projector that displayed a slideshow of my photographs, which were followed up by the video clips of the trick being performed. There were exhibition packs available for the launch night that were put together by Welcome Skate Store, Tall Boys Beer Market and Beak Brewery. The packs contained a zine, a t-shirt, some stickers, a Beak Brewery beer and a Tote bag.
Luckily two of the guys from Welcome Skate Store: Dave Tyson and Martyn Hill produce some rad illustrations so they were able to draw on the walls of the exhibition space. The launch night went smoothly and the turnout was amazing, thanks to everyone that made it down it was a fun night!
When is the show on until?
The exhibition will be displayed until the 7th May at Tall Boys Beer Market, Thorntons Arcade, Leeds City Centre.
How can people not from Leeds see your work?
Currently while my website is in progress the best way to access my work is via my Instagram: @ReeceLeung or my Flickr: www.flickr.com/reeceleung, My zine is available from me at: [email protected], or if you’re in the area pop into Welcome Skate Store or Tall Boys Beer Market.